|Welcome to The Playground, a place for Vancouver families. I’m always on the lookout for fun stuff to do, so if there’s something happening that you think I should know about, don’t hesitate to contact me.|
Rather than playing with toy animals or looking at pictures in books, visiting a farm is a great chance for children see and interact with the real thing. It was on a recent trip to Maplewood Farm in North Vancouver that I realized how much I underestimated how much a child learns about animals’ behaviour by watching goats butt heads, feeding carrots to rabbits and learning how to milk a cow. There are plenty of places in the Lower Mainland that give families the opportunity to interact, learn or simply enjoy farm animals. Lots of these places are family owned working farms with people eager to share everything they know about animals and farms.
405 Seymour River Place, North Vancouver
Boasting over 200 animals, Maplewood Farms is a short drive from Vancouver and is open all year round. Check out their website for up to date schedules on demonstrations. The goats and rabbits are a highlight because you can go in and pet them. Don’t forget to bring some leafy greens for the rabbits!
Be sure to stop by on April 27th for a special ‘Behind the Scenes’ look into the operation of the Farm. Activities include egg collection and washing, animal grooming, setting up feed and exploring “Staff Only” areas. Sessions go for about one hour. Children must be pre-registered and pre-paid.
Queens Park Petting Zoo
6th & McBride New Westminster
Open from Victoria Day to Labour Day, The Queen’s Park Petting Zoo is home to a wide variety of creatures including goats, a jersey calf, pigs, rabbits, geese, ducks, chickens and peacocks. The City of New Westminster also offers summer programs at the Petting Zoo which allows children the opportunity to see what its like to be a farmer by collecting eggs, brushing sheep, mucking stalls and feeding the farm animals. Admission by Donation.
24990 – 84th. Avenue Aldergrove
Aldor Acres has many attractions including an educational dairy tour, hayrides and an apple orchard. This 120 acre farm grows pumpkins, corn, hay, silage, Christmas trees, apples, raspberries, and blueberries. See baby animals in their natural environment and visit their hands-on petting zoo.
790 McKenzie Road Abbotsford
One of my favourites and definitely worth the drive. Maan Farms opens on May 4th and has great market, outdoor playground, corn maze, sunflower maze, farm tours, pumpkin patch, u pick berries and a petting zoo. You can definitely make a day of it. The petting zoo is only open on sunny weekends and features goats, pigs, alpacas, rabbits, chickens, horses and more. Be sure to buy a bag of chicken feed at the market!